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Is Eternity a violation of the Law of Identity?

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I understand that Omnipotence (unlimited power) is in contradiction with reality because "unlimited" violates the Law of Identity.

My question is since "unlimited" violates the Law of Identity, is Eternity in contradiction with reality as well?

And it leads me to my following question, can the Universe therefore be eternal?

Edited by The Individual
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Eternity does not mean unlimited, infinitely large time. It means timeless, out of the timeline, time does not apply.

Time is a property of the universe, it is inside. It is logical and consistent with non-contradiction to say that the universe is eternal.

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Eternal is according to a measurement of time. Of course, it is one that cannot be measured. This seems to violate identity to me.

Back when I was religious, and first started reading Rand, I tried to reconcile the concept of God to Objectivism (yeah, I know). The results of my endeavor were deciding that 'eternal' is necessarily not quantative, but qualitative.

That is, for something to be eternal, it must - according to all available knowledge - reasonably be expected to continue forward in time while retaining its identity. In other words, if an identity was itself yesterday, and its qualities allowed it to remain itself until today, and by the same qualities be expected to continue until tomorrow, then one would expect it perhaps to continue on as such forever. What then, if some unforseen difference in reality is discovered in the future? Well, that's the problem precisely.

This qualitative definition of eternity brings up many other big discussions. Still, it is the only way I could imagine eternity could be defined without necessarily violating the law of identiy.

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Is "timelessness" a concept and is it part of the identity of the Universe?

Timeless is every bit as valid as zero, both indicate an absence of any magnitude at all. The absence comes about because time is inherently relational, time is relative to something, just as distance is relative to something. There is nothing outside the universe to which a relative measurement can be made because everything that exists is included in the philosophical concept of universe, even hypothetical nano-dimensions or branes if those exist.

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I understand that Omnipotence (unlimited power) is in contradiction with reality because "unlimited" violates the Law of Identity.

No, "unlimited" simply refers to the absence of some kind of limit--the exact kind of limit depending on the context in which the word is used. For example, if your cellphone package allows you to send an unlimited number of text messages for free, that simply means you are not subject to a limitation on the number of messages you can send.

The reason the idea of omnipotence is invalid because it simply denies the Law of Identity. It posits the existence of an entity that can make reality whatever it wants it to be, regardless of the natures of the entities involved. That's just a flat-out negation of the Law of Identity.

And it leads me to my following question, can the Universe therefore be eternal?

The Universe is not an entity, but rather an abstract concept referring to an open-ended collection that includes all entities that have ever existed and will ever exist. By saying that the Universe is eternal, we mean that there was no such thing as "the beginning of time" when entities magically appeared out of nothing, and that there will be no such thing as "the end of time" when all entities simply disappear. In other words, entities have always been there in some form or another, and will always be there in some form or another.

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I understand that Omnipotence (unlimited power) is in contradiction with reality because "unlimited" violates the Law of Identity.

My question is since "unlimited" violates the Law of Identity, is Eternity in contradiction with reality as well?

And it leads me to my following question, can the Universe therefore be eternal?

<snip>

The law of causality does not state that every entity has a cause. Some of the things commonly referred to as "entities" do not come into being or pass away, but are eternal—e.g., the universe as a whole. The concept of "cause" is inapplicable to the universe; by definition, there is nothing outside the totality to act as a cause. The universe simply is; it is an irreducible primary.

</snip>

Time is a relationship between existents, not an attribute, which rely on man-made standards based on observations of what the universe is<does>. Eternal is outside that purveyance of time as identified in the snippets above from Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.

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It was more an inquiry as to your position. If it's the same as OPAR, I'll check it out.

Well, I should add that in addition to perceptual concretes, I think "entity" can also refer to conceptual-level integrations such as corporations, baseball teams, forum threads, etc. But there always has to be some objective basis for the integration; you cannot just point to any random collection of things and declare them to be an entity. You cannot say: "Society is the collection of all men" and then go on to talk about society as if it had attributes and actions like a perceptual concrete. I think the same applies to the Universe as well.

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